Did you miss the Santa Speedo Run at Magnificent Mile (see picture below)  yesterday? If you did, then keep on reading so you don’t miss all the fun going on this month around Chicago.

Christmas Around The World at the Museum of Science and Industry

Nobody does the holidays like MSI. Enjoy a one-of-a-kind seasonal celebration by joining them for Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light, a Chicago tradition which began in 1942 with a single tree dedicated to the Allies of World War II.

As always, the Museum’s 45-foot Grand Tree takes center stage in the Rotunda with more than 30,000 lights and 1,000 ornaments, surrounded by more than 50 smaller trees beautifully decorated by volunteers from Chicago’s ethnic communities to represent their various cultures and holiday traditions (see picture on top of this page). Stroll through the trees, enjoy intermittent falling “snow” and savor the performances on the Holiday Stage. School choral groups perform during the week, and ethnic song and dance performances take place on the weekends in conjunction with the exhibit. I had the pleasure to perform this year with Pachacamac Folk Dance group. Click here to check the schedule of performances.

Lincoln Park Zoo Christmas Lights

Enjoy the brilliance of this annual fun and free  holiday celebration, featuring luminous displays and holiday-season activities throughout zoo grounds. Find more information about this event here.

Sing A Song

Caroling at Cloud Gate has returned on Fridays through December 21. Each Friday night at 6pm during the holiday season, a different choral group will entertain and everyone is encouraged to sing-along. The Windy City Gay Chorus and Aria kicked off this year’s performances. The lineup is the Merit Conservatory Choir – November 30; Chicago Children’s Choir – December 7; Janet Sutton and The Voices of Acme – December 14; and Apollo Chorus of Chicago – December 21. Oh! And don’t forget to ice skate at Mc Cormick Tribune ice rink while you are there.

Maxwell Street Market Dog Holiday Costume Contest

The Maxwell Street Market is getting into the holiday spirit with a special Dog Holiday Costume Contest on Dec 9. You can register your dog at The event begins at 10:30am with the judging at noon. Prizes are for the top two dogs. Event takes place in the market’s parking lot. Also, Santa Claus will be making a stop at the Market that same day and your dog can take a picture with Santa. The man in the red suit will also visit with children and return again on December 16.

Dance-Along Nutcracker (December 9, 2012)

Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St, Preston Bradley Hall). Performances – 12 Noon and 3 pm. Dance Lessons at 11 am and 2 pm by ARCC Ballet – 5th Floor of the Chicago Cultural Center. FREE admission.

Sugar-plum fairies and toy soldiers of all ages return once again for the ninth annual Dance-Along Nutcracker, an interactive holiday event presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.  Audience members, young and old, are encouraged to dress in their finest tutus and hit the dance floor alongside professional dancers. Music will be provided by the Lakeside Pride Symphonic Band.

The Second Annual Afro-Caribbean Improvised Music Festival (December 12-16, 2012)

The Afro-Caribbean Improvised Music Festival takes place throughout Chicago and its suburban areas and it’s possible thanks to a collaboration between Agúzate, Latin Street Dancing, Lázaro Law Group, Old Town School of Folk Music, Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, Sound Culture and The Willowbrook Ballroom.

Free and ticketed concerts will feature both local and touring talent from New York and Puerto Rico. Find more information about this event here

ChristKindlmarket Chicago

Each year, people from all over the world visit the Christkindlmarket Chicago. The outdoor market in the Chicago Loop has become so popular and loved by everyone that any Chicagoan will tell you that they could not imagine the city without it. Christkindlmarket Chicago is no longer just a German tradition, it has become a Chicago institution. The unique shopping experience, typical German food and drinks, as well as diverse holiday entertainment make the Christkindlmarket Chicago a preferred and popular destination. Admission is FREE!

CTA Holiday Train

The Chicago Transit Authority is getting into the holiday spirit with our popular Holiday Train! Santa and his elves will ride the train passing out candy canes and season’s greetings. The spectacular train is an amazing sight – during the daytime and at night. The outside of the six-car train is adorned with holiday seasonal images. Thousands of twinkling lights outline the shape of the train and windows, with even more lights running across the tops of the cars. Interiors of the cars are decked out with thousands of multi-colored lights, red bows, garland, and red and green overhead lighting. The hand poles are wrapped to look like candy canes. As the train pulls into each station, Santa waves to the boarding passengers from his sleigh on an open-air flatcar carrying his reindeer and decorated holiday trees. Click here to see the train’s schedule.

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